How to Use the Eyedropper (Sample Color) Tool in MS Publisher

Match your colors perfectly by sampling an existing hue

Color Guide
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Instead of picking from the theme colors or other color palettes in Microsoft Publisher, use the eyedropper to select a fill, outline, or text color from any other object in your document.

Instructions in this article apply to Publisher 2019, Publisher 2016, Publisher 2013, Publisher 2010, and Publisher for Office 365.

How to Use the Eyedropper Tool in MS Publisher

The location where you will find and select the eyedropper tool depends on what you want to recolor.

Use the Eyedropper Tool to Recolor a Picture Border

  1. Select the picture.

  2. Select the Format tab.

  3. Select Border and then choose Sample Line Color.

    Screenshot of Sample Line Color in Picture Border menu
  4. When your cursor changes to an eyedropper, place it over any color in the image. If you click and hold, a small, colored square shows you the color you are selecting. It is automatically applied to your selected object.

Use the Eyedropper Tool to Recolor a Shape

  1. Select the shape.

  2. Select the Format tab.

  3. Select Shape Fill and then choose Sample Fill Color (to recolor the inside of the shape) or select Shape Outline and then choose Sample Line Color (to recolor the border of the shape).

    Screenshot of Sample Fill Color in Shape Fill menu
  4. When your cursor changes to an eyedropper, place it over any color in the image. If you click and hold, a small, colored square shows you the color you are selecting. It is automatically applied to your selected object.

Use the Eyedropper Tool to Recolor Text

  1. Select the text you want to recolor.

  2. Select the Text Box tab.

  3. Select the Font Color drop-down and then choose Sample Font Color.

    Screenshot of Sample Font Color
  4. When your cursor changes to an eyedropper, place it over any color in the image. If you click and hold, a small, colored square shows you the color you are selecting. It is automatically applied to your selected text.

The colors you select from any area of the publication will appear in the Recent Colors section below Scheme Colors and Standard Colors.

Apply a Background Color

Now that you have a selection of colors, you can start applying color to other objects on your page. 

  1. Select Page Design.

  2. Select Background in the Page Background group and choose More Backgrounds to bring up the Fill Effects menu. 

    Screenshot of More Backgrounds in Background menu
  3. Select Solid Fill or One Color and then choose the Color 1 drop-down menu to reveal the Theme/Standard/Recent Colors.

    Screenshot of Recent Colors in Format Background
  4. Choose one of the sampled Recent Colors.

Apply Color to a Shape

  1. Select the shape you want to recolor or go to use Insert > Shapes to add a new shape.

  2. Select the Shape Format tab.

  3. Select Shape Fill (to recolor the inside of the shape) or select Shape Outline (to recolor the border of the shape).

    Recent Colors in Shape Fill menu
  4. Choose the color in Recent Colors.

Apply Color to Text

  1. Select the text you want to recolor. To add new text, go to the Insert tab, select Draw Text Box, add a text box to the publication and enter text.

  2. Choose the Font Color menu.

    Screenshot of Recent Colors in Font Colors menu
  3. Select the color in Recent Colors.

Save your publication — the sampled Recent Colors stay with the document.